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Roth-Theodorovic Pistol w/ Tambour Safety (Video)

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Georg Roth’s company in Austria presided over a wonderful variety of interesting handgun development, and this is one example of that lineage. Roth’s licensed or purchased the patent for this pistol from its inventor, Wasa Theodorovic, and turned it over to his engineer Karel Krnka to develop (I’m simplifying this). The design used a […]

Frommer 1901 Pistol (Video)

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Rudolf Frommer was a self-taught engineer and firearms designer who worked his way up through the FEG concern in Budapest to eventually hold the position of CEO. During this time he developed a series of long-recoil, rotating-bolt pistols culminating in the Frommer Stop, which was adopted by the Austro-Hungarian military. These pistols began with […]

JoLoAr .45 ACP One-Hand-Cocking Pistol (Video)

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The JoLoAr pistol was a combination of a poor-selling and unremarkable Spanish blowback semiauto pistol called the Sharpshooter and an idea by a man named Jose Lopez Arnaiz (whose name is the source of the pistol’s name). Arnaiz conceived the idea of mounting a lever (palanca in Spanish) onto a pistol slide, to allow […]

Japanese Grandpa Nambu with Stock (Video)

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The 1902 “Grandpa” Nambu is one of the first wave of successful military automatic pistols, developed by Kijiro Nambu and his team over the course of 5 years, from 1897 to 1902. It was the first automatic pistol to be used by the Japanese military, although it was a private-purchase sidearm for officers and […]

Bergmann Simplex Pocket Pistols (Video)

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The Bergmann 1896 Number 2 pistol was a relatively successful compact pocket gun for its day, but quickly became obsolete as semiautomatic handguns developed and improved. Bergman and his chief engineer Schmeisser spent the late 1890s developing and improved version of the Bergmann automatics, pitting into two distinct lines of development. One was the […]

Chinese C96 “Wauser” Broomhandle

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The C96 Mauser was a very popular handgun in China in the 1920s and 30s, which naturally led to a substantial number of domestically-produced copies of it. These ran the full range of quality, from dangerous to excellent. This particular example falls into the middle, appearing to be a pretty fair mechanical copy of […]

Development of the Luger Automatic Pistol (Video)

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Lugers! there are approximately a gazillion different recognized varieties, because the pistol became so popular and iconic. And yet…they all kinda look the same, don’t they? (If you are a Luger collector, don’t answer that!) A great many ( I daresay the significant majority) of the Luger variations are minor changes in production details. […]

Müller 1902 Prototype Pistol (Video)

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Bernhard Müller designed this locked-breech pistol in 1902, seemingly a hybrid of the Luger and P38 (of course, the P38 did not exist at that time). It appears to use a modified Luger magazine and is chambered for the 7.65mm Luger cartridge. The grip is very much Luger-like, in part because the use of […]

Book Review: The Makarov Pistol – Soviet Union & East Germany

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Until recently, the only good reference book on the Makarov pistol has been Volume 16 of Fred Datig’s Soviet Arms series – which is hampered by the lack of public information available to the author in the late 1980s. Well, now we have another option: Henry Brown and Cameron White’s new book “The Makarov […]

Bjorgum 1905 Norwegian Prototype Pistol (Video)

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Niels Bjorgum was a Norwegian artist-turned-gun-designer who decided to try his hand at handguns for the Norwegian military. His design work ran from 1894 until 1921 or so, starting with long guns but later turning to handguns. He was able to convince the Norwegian government to sponsor his work, largely because he was one […]